The federal government is redoubling its efforts to seek out mosquito breeding areas and management the lethal illness
A cohort of officials recently trained in identifying mosquito breeding sites, as well as the arrival of new smoke machines, are the latest moves in an attempt to tackle a worrying suspicion of dengue outbreak.
According to Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, Minister of Health and Wellness, officials are waiting for the results of around 250 to 300 suspected cases that have occurred in the past six months.
On Monday, he told reporters that local health officials are still working to finalize a dengue action plan that included developing much-needed testing facilities reserved for COVID-19 testing.
“I can’t give you anything specific at this point as we’re finalizing the dengue action plan. I can tell you that we have completed a training cycle for some additional staff who are actually out and about in the field, ”replied Minister Bostic when asked for an update on the current situation in the country.
“In addition, we have a number of suspected cases at the QEH and other medical institutions. We are in the process of doing the tests to confirm whether or not these people actually had dengue fever, as unfortunately the same machines used for COVID-19 PCR testing are the same machines that are required for dengue testing are. So we had to create some space to get this process going, ”he continued.
More than a week ago, Minister Bostic signaled the government’s intention to have a response similar to that launched to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. It was later revealed that the suspected cases were taking a huge toll on the pediatric department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
While reiterating the gravity of the situation and the challenges associated with testing facilities, Bostic promised that other measures would be taken to provide “temporary relief”.
“We expect more fog machines. We are waiting for some additional smoke machines to arrive so we now have four trucks fogging up daily, but more importantly, we have more bodies on site trying to identify mosquito breeding sites is really key. Fogging will help temporarily, but we need to be able to take care of the breeding grounds. “Bostic admitted.
“In the past few months… maybe between 250 and 300 suspected cases have been reported or reported [cases]but we don’t know for sure, and there is no way a lot of them have been hospitalized and tests need to be done so that we can make the decision, ”he explained